You Know You're From West Hempstead...

What defines this diverse hamlet you call home?

...some of your best memories were formed at Hall's Pond Park.

...after a big snowstorm you went sledding down "Dead Man's Hill."

...you looked forward to buying pickles at Shopper's Village.

...you remember the and are happy it's finally gone!

West Hempstead is far more than just the western section of the Town of Hempstead. It's a diverse suburban community defined by its beautiful parks, unique businesses and most of all, the caring families who live here.

Outsiders will define West Hempstead by its population, square mileage and landmarks, but only those who live or grew up in the community really understand its character.

So if you've ever called West Hempstead home, we ask you to finish this sentence: "You know you're from West Hempstead when..."

Post your comments in the space below. (And if you need some inspiration check out this Facebook page.)

Oh and feel free to upload some fun photos too!

If you're from Malverne, you'll want to head here to participate in this game.

Ken M. August 05, 2011 at 08:25 PM
You remember going to the Net games at the Island Garden... You played miniature golf by the Burger King on Hempstead Tpke. You brought your racing car to the Aurora race track Eating onion rings at the Lantern Diner You hit the ball at Echo Park before the pool was there You went to Gardener's Village and saw the huge parrot cage Hearing the late bell being rung at Chestnut St. School Hearing fire sirens on the corner of Westminster and Hempstead Tpke., Chestnut and Woodfield Rd., Roosevelt Blvd and Echo Park, In front of the bank of Hempstead Ave., Avon Pl., Wilson Ave., and of course on the Fire Dept.
Ken M. August 05, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Eating at Wetson’s Hamburgers at the five corners Going down the stairs at Royal Lanes Walking the breezeway at West Hempstead High Check out a book at the original Library on Hempstead Ave. and Roosevelt Ordering at Pete’s Pizzeria’s original location Picking up a Rx at Rexall Drugs on Hempstead Ave. and Poplar Madelin the crossing guard for Chestnut St. School in the ‘60’s safely walked you You ate at the IHOP on the East End You rode your bike down The Bell St. hill You ate at The Country Gentleman Restaurant at Nassau Blvd and the Turnpike You stopped by one of two Carvel’s one by Hall’s Pond and one on the Turnpike and Walnut St. Getting you dairy products and more at the Dairy Barn Filling up on cake and cookies and breads and Danish at Resterer’s Bakery Shopping at Bohack’s by Klein’s Attending church at St. Thomas’ Gassing up at Gander’s Texaco Picking up Dry Cleaning next to the Dairy Barn You had that HUGH step by the Post Office before they fixed it
Bob Rabey August 06, 2011 at 08:12 AM
All good ones Ken, I remember pitching for the Eagles @ Echo, but before that, having a lot of fun playing in the woods there. There was a natural stream running thought it with water so pure, that water crest grew there naturally. As I understand it, water needs to be 98% pure in order for watercrest to grow. And "where" is that natural stream today? Still running, but through the sewer system under McKinley street! This same water "used" to fill Halls Pond!
Ken M. August 06, 2011 at 11:46 AM
You could food shop at Associated Food Store at Hempstead Ave. and Walton St. You played with your Skittlebowl game and could drive by the place that manufactured it You stopped for a cone at The Sugar Bowl on Hempstead Ave. by Wilson St. then went next door to pick up your Newsday papers for your paper route In the winter you sledded down the hills at Hall’s Pond and went over the side onto the frozen water You got an egg crème at either Green’s, Kaplan’s, or Brown’s, Luncheonette Had the special at Benny’s Diner Riding your bike to and looking up at the water tower on Birch St. Ate breakfast at Friendly’s by the Post Office The closest public pool was Rath Park in Franklin Square It was an Italian dinner at Rico’s Restaurant across from the Island Garden You picked up a deli sandwich at the corner of Hempstead Ave. and Colony You went food shopping at Hills on Woodfield Rd. next to the lumberyard that burned down Waiting by the LIRR on Hempstead Gardens Dr. to see the train
Ken M. August 06, 2011 at 11:48 AM
I remember hitting the baseball in the creek and playing with that same ball the whole day. By the end of the day, your baseball was and octagon because it was so waterlogged.
Cliff August 06, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Some of my memories are: Picking up takeout from the Firehouse Restaurant with my Dad Catching Tadpoles in the creek, riding a minibike in the large lot that was once there. Dumpster diving at Aurora with my friends Going to visit Mom who worked at ShopRite from the time it opened Playing miniature golf where Abbots now stands
Paul Brandel August 07, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Geez - Ken - you have a great memory - remember the 25 cents snow cones at the Nets' games (extra syrup if you went down to the stand yourself and asked nicely) - and upgrading your general admission ticket of $3.00 at the game to a $5.00 seat to get a free ABA basketball on ball night. How about the night that the famed Boston Celtics were beaten by the Nets on the Island Garden floor in an exhibition game.
Paul Brandel August 07, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Regarding the Island Garden - the Harlem Globetrotters, Dave Clark Five, Bobby and John F. Kennedy's political Democratic rallies, Bruno Samartino vs. Haystack Calhoun.... that was a great old barn!!!
Ken M. August 07, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Paul, I remember sneaking in to a couple of games and I sure do remember them beating the Celtics.... Rick Barry and his foul shots... I did sit at the end of the wood during games, couldn't do that now, and remember one game that ended in the 140's for BOTH teams. When I was 14, I worked at Rico's Italian Restaurant across the street from the Garden as a busboy/part time waiter. My friend Carmine was the dishwasher. They used to take your uneaten garlic bread, put it in a big box till it got hard, and make bread crumbs out of it. Hello Health Dept.
Ken M. August 07, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Oh, and my Uncle took me to wrestling when I was like six or seven. I remember seeing Bobo Brazil and Baron Miguel Secluna from the Isle of Malta... lol. Funny, when I was in college and in radio in Orlando-Daytona in the late 70's, I sub contracted to the NWA as a ring announcer and the time keeper. The wrestlers I met... too many to name... and all really really nice guys. I even got to talk to Andre The Giant and Ernie 'The Cat' Ladd for like a half hour before the matches began on separate occasions... what kind men and gentlemen as well.
Ray August 07, 2011 at 11:46 PM
You bought "Fisk" tires at S. Kleins......."On The Square"
Ken M. August 23, 2011 at 06:15 AM
This is it??? So many West Hempsteaders and nobody comes here. Wnat a great site for memories. Very glad you started it Tara.
Ira Marc January 01, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Widening Nassau Blvd in front of John Street School. Gutskey's Farm across from Echo Park, now homes. Firehouse, La Maison, Wetsons, GumYing, Charcoal Grll, Piccolo Trieste Chris & John @ The Lantern Diner S.Kleins, Southern State Parkway Toll, Gardner.s Village
Paul Brandel January 01, 2012 at 01:09 PM
For those that had the privalage of playing on the Little League tournament teams - be it for the West Hempstead or Garden City South leagues - how much we hated New Hyde Park and loved beating them. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing Mike Nuzzi leaving upset after one of their rare losses - (BTW Mike Nuzzi (RIP) was actually a real nice guy). The pizza parties at Rico's after such a victory were fantastic.
Gary Collins April 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
West Hempstead Blows!!!
Mike Scheuerman August 10, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Yeah lotsa memories. Many mentioned above. I remember going to Charlie's (the deli across the street from the mini golf between Poplar and Spruce) and buying my Mom her cigarettes and I would get a Ring Ding. (10¢). Charlie's wife would ask, you're not going to smoke these are you? Like Benson & Hedges 100's Ultra Light Menthols was the brand of choice for kid smokers. ;-) Walking by the IHB and watching the blind people working through the window. Walking to the Ganders Texaco to get a free map. Riding my bike to Gardners Village and visiting my Uncle who worked there and looking at the Macaw. Thanks for not telling my Mom Uncle Joe. Going to S Kleins and buying records in their basement. Then once a year around Christmas they would have like a kids shopping day so you could by cheap crap to give to your parents. Going to Strauss Store and buying a 59¢ flashlight. Around Christmas time they would stock toys as did Brothers 3 pool place. Walking to St. Thomas school in the freezing cold carrying my trombone. Going to the bagel store after school in the winter and buying any bagel as long as it was hot. Carvel chocolate thick shake floats. Riesterers bakery cream filled donuts. Fire House restaurant garlic bread and chicken in a basket. I remember when the KFC & Burger King were opened. Nothing like a Carmellas Sicil. pie (I know it's Franklin Square.) Going to the coin store in Franklin Square. I remember the movie theater there showed Dr. Dolittle for the whole summer.
Mark Ferretti January 24, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Going to Carl's candy store on the way home form Marion Delaney to buy candy and comic books 25 cents went a LONG way back then!
Mark Ferretti January 24, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Bourbon Street in fornyt of Island Garden. Charcol Ranch diner.
Josh Rapp February 02, 2013 at 08:18 PM
You went to Food Fair for groceries and Lox Haven for franks, knishes, stuffed derma and great pastrami sandwiches on rye with deli mustard.
Josh Rapp February 18, 2013 at 03:02 PM
What about playing ball on Lawrence Ave?
Richard Seyfried June 28, 2013 at 04:02 PM
I was a Garden City Souther,Lived on Nassau Boulevard at the Garden City Border. But remember plenty about West Hempstead. I remember going shopping at S. Klein's On The Square and hoping that my fathere would buy one of those hot salty pretzels from the vendor on the way out to the parking lot. Aurora Plastics and looking for plastic parts near their garbage piles ( dumpsters were not in use then) . Playing with Whitey Carlson's kids and sneaking into the back of the Island Garden when the circus was running there. Shooting arrows at the indoor archery range on Hempstead Turnpike. Going to Gardener's Village to help my father pick out a christmas tree that was always too tall for our ceiling. Gong to the slot car track to watch the other kids run their cars. Eating at the Lantern Diner, Picking up milk for 25cents from a vending machine next to the Taxi stand on the corner of Hempstead Trnpke and Nassau Boulevard. Riding my bycycle down to the Huge Culvert that was behind the stores on the south side of the turnpike. The same one that fed the water down to Hall's Pond. I even remember when they were Constructing Hall's Pond. There was a Carvel store across Hempstead avenue from the pond. We used to go to Hall's pond to feed the duck stale bread. I remember the Firehouse and the Firehouse Restaurant. The miniature golf course where I took a girl on my first date with her. Riding the B Line Bus from Nassau Boulevard stop. Stauss Auto Parts Store, Riesterers bakery and their salt sticks and pastries. On the corner of Nassau Boulevard the four corners were an Esso Station, a Mobile Station, Taxi Stand , and a produce stand, I dont remember the produce stand name but I think it was Ralph's. John Street School was behind it heading south on Nassau Boulevard. That was my first Elementary Schoool. I rode my bycycle a lot back then along Hempstead Turnpike heading towards Hempstead. I dont remember a Wetson's in West Hempstead but I do remember one in Franklin Square 10 Cent hamburgers. No one worried about hot juicy grease back then. I dont know how old all your other posters on this site are but I just turned 66 the other day.
Ken M. June 28, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Yeah, 56 here. The Wetson's was on the South side for the four corners Richard. I rode my bike to Chestnut St. school and my combination lock was 18 4 30, now that's weird to remember you combo to you first lock! I was in the Chestnut fifth grade where the change was made to Geo. Washington in '66, when GW was K 5 and 6, Chestnut was K 1 and 2 and Marion Delaney was K 3 and 4. Then was the first 7th grade when GW was made a Middle School two years later. Playing basketball and eating watermelon at the outdoor rec center by Nassau Blvd. just north of Hemp. Tpke. Charlie was great guy with kids at his candy store across from GW. I too remember the opening of Burger King and the Whopper was 59 cents. My Dad walked to and had a beer at the Community Bar. Ring Dings a dime, Devil Dogs and Yodels, a nickel, Yankee Doodles twelve and Hostess Fruit Pies were 15, expensive! Fischetti's nursery on Hemp. Ave. The Dance studio across from Chestnut School where I learned how to dance for my sister's wedding at age 13... First time I really held a, yikes...Female! The big parking lot we rode my friends hot rod in by the Paint Store next to the hobby shoppe and Bennie's Restaurant. My Newsday route was right down my own street Madison Ave. 30 cents a week and if given 50 cents, that was a great tip! Swimming at the Rath Park pool, no Echo Pool yet... and a buck got your lunch to hot dogs with kraut and Italian onions and the crème soda from the little Italian guy... that was 75 and a quarter for the fudge center Good Humor. Oh, and let's not forget Mister Softee before the bike ride home. Santa riding on the Quad truck Christmas Eve. Took my girlfriend Roseanne at age 16 to the Firehouse Restaurant... big deal there! My school buddy Mark Glickman, who was Mark "The Animal" Mendoza of Twisted Sister, who worked in the camera dept. in the basement of Klein's. All those young people’s plate at the IHOP on Saturday morning’s before going to Royal Lanes for PBC bowling. More to come…
david canny June 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM
John the Bum aka Captain Pickles. Bonus points if you know the story of the Captain Pickles names and a double bonus if you ever talked with the man and know his name.


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